Why Your Commercial Office Needs a Speech Privacy System

Author: Gina Cunsolo

Why Your Commercial Office Needs a Speech Privacy System


A corporate office can be a noisy place. If it’s a cubicle farm, the sounds of a co-worker chatting with a colleague can be a significant distraction if you’re on an important sales call. If it consists of side-by-side offices, overhearing the boss dress down one of your colleagues can be a source of embarrassment. If there are frequent visitors, you may not want them overhearing the strategy session in the office conference room.


 If any of these scenarios apply to your workplace, it might be worth considering a sound masking system. Such systems can not only help keep conversations private, but they can also make for a more pleasant, less stressful working environment.


How A Speech Privacy System Works 


At their core, sound masking works by reducing what’s known as the “radius of distraction,” or the distance at which conversations are intelligible. If you can make out what your co-workers are saying when they’re 60 feet away, then the radius of distraction is at least 60 feet.


Commercial office sound masking systems introduce ambient noise to a room to reduce distractions. Although the concept seems counterintuitive, the added sound is engineered to approximate the frequency of human speech. As a result, the conversations of others are less intelligible and less distracting. Because a sound masking system prevents your brain from tuning in to what others are saying, you don’t pay those conversations any attention. Sound masking doesn’t eliminate the sounds of others’ conversations; it simply makes them less noticeable by reducing the radius of distraction.


Compare it to the sound of an air conditioning system. Although, if you focus your attention on the sound, it can seem quite noisy; chances are you don’t notice it during the workday.


Sound masking isn’t just for noisy offices, either. Have you ever spent time in a library where it’s so quiet that you can hear the sound of someone across the room turning the pages of a book they were reading, munching on a candy bar, or taking a drink of water? Those sounds can be just as irritating as a loud co-worker in the next cubicle.


An Effective Speecy Privacy Solution for the Office


Of course, noise issues can also be addressed with acoustic tile, room dividers, and sound-absorbing carpets. These might be options to consider if you’re designing an office, meeting space, or conference room.

Still, these steps can be expensive or feasible and may not fully address the problem. Partitions in cubicle farms, for example, rarely reach the ceiling, and sound can still travel through walls. Also, it may not be possible to add such features in a leased space.


On the other hand, a sound masking system can be a cost-effective solution for nearly any environment. The speakers can be installed in ceiling tiles, which don’t require any space.


Yamaha Unified Communications, for example, recently introduced its VSP-2 Speech Privacy System. The VSP-2 increases the background noise level to mask nearby conversations and prevent accidental listening in small open work areas, conference rooms, or executive offices while creating a relaxing acoustic environment that is free from distractions.

The tabletop control unit connects to speakers via wire and includes three easily adjustable sound elements:

  • Speech Sound Masker: Made from elements of a human voice

  • Environmental Sound: Forest Sound, Murmuring Brook, Urban Clatter, Room Air Conditioner

  • Sound Effect: Guitar, Piano, Music box, Digital Device


The VSP-2 provides up to 65% higher masking performance at the same sound level as other conventional sound masking methods, creating a relaxing acoustic environment free from distractions.


The VSP-2 also perfectly compliments other Yamaha UC solutions like ADECIA and YVC-1000, because the noise-cancellation technology cancels out the noise so the people on the far end can’t hear it!


No matter which type of noise you choose, it should benefit your company. If you want more information about how Yamaha UC can help you use sound to improve your workplace, reach out to one of our experts. To learn about other audio solutions and how they can help your business, visit our Products page